This disc presents the premiere recordings of two major Poul Ruders orchestral scores. Offred Suite is a suite of the five major arias from Ruders's greatest international success, the opera, The Handmaid's Tale. Ruders has structured the music in Offred Suite to flow continuously, so that the overall effect is that of a monodrama. Singing the role of Offred is the brilliant young soprano of Metropolitan Opera fame, Susanna Phillips.
Ruders's Symphony No. 3 'Dream Catcher' is a 30-minute long work in two interconnected movements. After a stormy introduction, the music dissolves into the main movement. This dreamlike movement connects to a Scherzo prestissimo, a movement which annotator Malcolm MacDonald describes as: “a tour-de-force of virtuoso orchestral writing, a teeming, yelping, squealing, buzzing, chittering, whooping riot of sound.”
The performances by the Odense Symphony under conductor Scott Yoo are nothing short of spectacular. Volume Six of Bridge's Ruders series (BRIDGE 9336) was Grammy-nominated, received an Editor’s Choice in Gramophone and was a finalist in the contemporary category at the 2011 Gramophone Awards. Volume Seven (BRIDGE9375) has just been chosen as Editor's Choice in the April 20120 issue of Gramophone and was awarded an IRR Outstanding in IRR’s March issue.
“a fine continuation of Bridge's invaluable Ruders series”
19th August 2012
“Tundra brilliantly reimagines the bleak, rarefied but brutal orchestral style of the Finn, insinuating what might be fleeting (certainly telling) quotations; while the two-movement symphony is pure Ruders...the whole work seeming a single virtuoso flourish.”
9th September 2012
“the Offred Suite of extracts reminds just how pungent and eloquent Ruders's score is, with Susanna Phillips the chillingly accurate soprano. Ruders deals in exciting, dramatic gestures and though the harmonic direction may sometimes be unclear, the music sweeps us powerfully along.”